Rudi Redux

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(December 1, 1965) After losing the outfielder on waivers, the Kansas City Athletics today recovered outfield prospect Joe Rudi from the Cleveland Indians.

As a left fielder for the A’s, Rudi would win three Gold Gloves and play a key role for the world championship teams during the early 70’s in Oakland.

Joe Rudi was originally signed out of high school by the Kansas City Athletics, but was selected by the Cleveland Indians as a waiver pick. After a year playing in the Indians’ minor league system, Rudi went back to the A’s in a four-player deal.

Rudi was originally signed by the Athletics out of high school in June of 1964. Eleven months later, the Indians selected Rudi as a first-round waiver pick.

Playing for Class A Dubuque in the Midwest League, Rudi batted .254 with 21 doubles, 16 home runs and 58 RBIs. Then, after one season in the Indians’ minor league system, Rudi was traded with catcher Phil Roof back to the Athletics for outfielder Jim Landis and pitcher Jim Rittwage.

(If you never heard of Rittwage, you’re probably not alone. Rittwage’s major league career consisted of eight games and 26 innings, with a 1-1 record and a 4.15 ERA – all with Cleveland, all in 1970.)

Rudi would go on to play 11 seasons with the Athletics (one in Kansas City, 10 in Oakland). He would be an All-Star three times, leading the league in hits (181) and triples (9) in 1972 and in doubles (39) and total bases (287) in 1974.

Soxy Swinger

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Dave Nicholson

Dave Nicholson was a hard-swinging outfielder who was long on power but short on contact.

He blasted 35 home runs in the minor leagues in 1959 and debuted with the Baltimore Orioles in 1960, batting .186 in 54 games with five homes runs and 11 RBIs. He was traded in 1963 with Ron Hansen, Pete Ward and Hoyt Wilhelm to the Chicago White Sox for Luis Aparicio and Al Smith. Continue reading

When a Ty Is a Win

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Ty Cline

Though never a star, Ty Cline was a valuable contributor for six different teams during his 12-year major league career. As a pinch hitter and sure-handed outfielder and first baseman, Cline lasted so long because he delivered so consistently, the kind of player who makes late innings productive. Continue reading

Ground Ball Fella

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Ted Bowsfield

Ted Bowsfield was a sinkerball southpaw who pitched for four different teams during a seven-year major league career. Early in his career, he was described by New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel as “that fella that throws them ground balls.” And he was that fella. Continue reading

Don the Dominant

 

Career Year: Don Drysdale – 1962

Next to Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale was arguably the most intimidating pitcher in baseball during the 1960s.

Tall and hard-throwing, Drysdale wasn’t afraid to use his fastball to push batters away from the plate, and wasn’t concerned about plunking those who refused to budge or bail. Five times he led the National League in batters he hit. Continue reading